When Fairy Tales Grow Up
The year 1976
The month May
Dungeons and Dragons was the new in thing among the nerdy, brainiac crowd at school. I fit right in, with my vivid imagination and reputation for being smarter than most of the student populations. On the honor roll every reporting period, I was a shoe in for university. At that time academic post secondary shcool required a minimum average of 80% in five of eight matriculation courses. In my case, chemistry, biology, math, English and French. We live in Canada, so French is our second language unless you live in Quebec where English is considered a legal necessity and barely acknowledged.
Our dungeon master was amazing, and I played a healer/mage. It was harmless fun. A way to indulge our thirst for adventure and interact with each other in a manner that didn't have real world consequences.
The churches in our city banded together to warn parents about satanic activity and uncontrolled indulgences of drugs and sex attached to D and D. We used to meet in a basement Sunday school room of a church, but were driven out and had to make excuses to meet. Some of us were grounded to prevent any contact with others from the group we had formed. For some reason the activity of stretching our imaginations and problem solving skills, was considered evil to the point of wrecking reputations.
Whispers of universities not accepting you as a student if they found out about D and D activites in your life, no job for you in the future, no one would marry you, you wouldn't be able to find a place to live when you moved out, and more piled up. At one point, Tolkien's LOTR series was removed from school bookshelves. For those of us who enjoyed the lively discussions and occassional scare of a great medieval fantasy adventure, the cloak and dagger sneaking around to meet became as much of a thrill as the game.
Once I graduated, which was June of 1976, I lost track of most of the kids I played the game with, and my life made a radical turn. I blocked out the worst of the insanity and forgot about D and D until recently, when Twitch TV D and D dungeon masters caught my attention and I considered getting involved with a game again. Fantasy worlds and universes have become mainstream since the success of Harry Potter.
My own fantasy series was born in the late eighties as the Satanic Panic finally died out. Prophecy's Promise, the first book, was written in late 1988 but never saw a greater audience until 2014 when I put it on Wattpad. It was born because of an off shoot of D and D on an internet bulletin board. Yes, the predecessor of discord servers existed way back in 1990. The ever popular tell a story one sentence at a time inspired me.
Until this prompt crossed my laptop screen, I'd forgotten about the insanity that accompanied the start of D and D. But as usual, things that are meant to be, persist and grow. Now thousands enjoy the process of banding together for an adventure in another world, where magic is common and dragons breathe fire. There are still grandmothers out there who are horrified, because if they don't understand, it must be bad.
I pity them.
Nehemiah 1:11 & 2:9 - Lead, Serve and Pray (Bible Journal)
"'O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.' In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer (Nehemiah 1:11 NLT)."
"When I came to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River, I delivered the king’s letters to them. The king, I should add, had sent along army officers and horsemen to protect me (Nehemiah 2:9 NLT)."
In this chapter, King Artaxerxes sounded like the kind of king I would be happy to serve under. He asked his servant Nehemiah what was troubling him, asked him how he could help, honored his servant's request to return to Judah, arranged for letters to give him safe travel, and even sent army officers and horsemen to protect Nehemiah on his journey. Nehemiah likely received this treatment because he was a top notch cup-bearer, the king was being a caring king towards one of his people, God had answered Nehemiah's prayers, or all of these things. Lord, thank You for speaking to me through Nehemiah's story. Please help me to be kind to those I interact with, including those I may act in a leadership role for as an educator. Please help me to also be a good servant to those I work with, and please help me to be better at turning to You for help in prayer often. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
The definition of “God”
Hello Harry, I consider myself an agnostic, which defined, says that I don't associate myself with a religion, but I redefined this to mean, for myself, that I don't know. Because, really, that is the most responsible stance.
What is your specific definitionof an "atheist"?
I've delved a bit into the Sumeriam texts, and Jewish mysticism, which I find fascinating, and a few other texts, and I've thus far concluded that nobody knows and nearly everything that anyone believes they know are just what they have read that someone else has written and deemed to be fact, and there is so much text that has been mis and rerepresented, most of it doesn't even resemble the original it was construed from, and brings to mind a striking resemblance to the grade school game of
"Telephone", where everyone sits in circle and the "operator" whispers a phrase to the player on their right, and this passing on continues and ends once the "operator" is informed of the phrase, which, quite often, varies drasrically from the original phrase.
This is what I think. There were humans or humanoids before the Bible or the Gilgamesh (probably spelling that wrong, my apologies!) text from the Sumerians. Anything that was recorded before then has either been lost or destroyed or not available to the general public. Now there are possibly other ways of acquiring information, which I won't get into now, but my personal opinion is that NO ONE knows or can possibly ever know from whom or how all of existence came to be. We can thoeorize all we want, but I believe that no matter what intelligence we achieve, we are always stonewalled by the ultimate question of how existence came to be. Now there obviously had to be a programmer, right? I mean, someone or something brought this about. But I think we are just chasing our tails trying to figure out what, who, or how. And we are so laughably arrogant us humans. Maybe it's not in the questions or the answers. I know, that dooesn't make sense, but past a certain point, what does make sense!?!
So I conclude with, how have you come to your status? And for some interesting reading, check out "The Story of Adam and Eve" by Chan Thomas, ciadeclassifiedfiles. Which, by the way, are not fully declassified.
I welcome your comments and opinions,
Becca Waits, Seeker of Truth
Christians: “Stop persecuting me for persecuting others!”
I’m sure you’ve heard this thrown around before. There have been several cases in the past where Christians have thrown the word ‘persecuted’ when things don’t go their way, or when they’re called out on their bullshit. We’ve seen films made by Christian studios such as PureFlix depicting Christians as the persecuted minority in the United States. What a fucking load of bullshit.
The whole idea that Christians in the United States, a country where roughly 70-75 percent of its population is Christian, is bullshit. Christians are not being persecuted in this country. They are not being denied a job or a loan based on their faith. They are not the ones who are denied a wedding cake based on their partners. No one in this country is calling for the extermination of Christianity, or shouting at them to go back to their country. It’s obsurd and disgusting.
From what I’ve seen in my life Christians are not persecuted, they’re normally the persecutors. Obviously when I speak about Christians I don’t mean all Christians. I’m not saying that all Christians are like this. I’m not saying all Christian groups and denominations act like this. When I talk about Christians I’m talking about the homophobic, antisemetic, racist, Young Earth believing, Confederate flag waving, MAGA supporting, have prayer in public schools Christians. I’m referring to Evangelists, Pentacostals, Westboro Baptists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses (although the latter can be considered a cult rather a Christian denomination). I’m talking about the Christians that stormed the Capital back in January. Admittingly, it’s not fair to even call them Christians. Let’s call them what they really are: American ISIS.
So why are these fanatic groups behaving like this? Well it’s like I said earlier, they’re being called out on their bullshit. Back in 2013 a Christian baker refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple due to their beliefs and they rightfully got called out for it. Now I’ve stated before that I don’t have any issues about a person’s belief unless it involves hurting someone. This baker’s belief that gay people shouldn’t marry is an example of their self righteous belief hurting someone.
In the United States Christians are the one the hold the most power. They’re the ones running successful businesses and are in political offices. However as more people of different backgrounds start succeeding and gain influence over the public that causes a power shift, something Christians are definitely afraid of. They like to be in control. They want Christianity to be the only influence in the country. But that’s not how it works. The United States is meant to be a secular nation where all people of different faiths can have an equal share. But in order to gain a footing in the world they had to struggle. Christians don’t struggle. As I mentioned they aren’t pressured to conform to normality. They aren’t the ones who are denied health care. They aren’t denied a job based on their beliefs. They aren’t denied a wedding cake. For the most part they are privileged. And as the old saying goes: when you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.
#religion #Christianity #atheist #atheism #reality #persecution #essay
Genesis 22:14 - Provider (Bible Journal)
"Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means 'the Lord will provide'). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: 'On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided (Genesis 22:14 NLT).'"
I am very thankful that times have changed from Biblical days in that God has not asked me to sacrifice any of my children to prove my loyalty to Him. Although no human sacrifice happened in this story due to the request for Isaac only being a test, it is still scary to think about. Before Abraham knew that God was going to stop the sacrifice at the last moment, he had assured Isaac that God would provide the sacrifice, and the ram was sent. Again, we are thankfully not going to be asked to sacrifice a human for God, but the takeaway I am getting from this challenging story is to give life our best and show up ready to obey God, and if we do those things He will take it from there. Thank You Lord for Your lessons, including the difficult ones. Please help me to show up and do my best in good times and hard times, and please provide while I step forward in Your honor. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
Genesis 20:12 - Half-Truth Troubles (Bible Journal)
"And she really is my sister, for we both have the same father, but different mothers. And I married her (Genesis 20:12 NLT)."
Abraham technically told Abimelech the truth in that his wife Sarah was his sister, but leaving out the marriage detail from fear that he would be killed over the desire for Sarah caused a lot of trouble for Abimelech's kingdom. Thankfully God stopped the situation from becoming a complete disaster, but Abraham's half truth caused issues that could have been prevented. It's easy to point fingers at this blunder, but at the same time the fingers can be pointed back at me for my own half-truth blunders I have partook in (I can't think of any at the moment, but I'm certain I've done so). Lord, please forgive me for any time I have caused trouble from a half-truth. Please help me to make the right choices, even when the right choice is scary. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
Genesis 4:7 - Pride & Jealousy (Bible Journal)
"You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master (Genesis 4:7 NLT)."
The story of Cain is a prime example of the dangers of pride. Instead of improving his own work, Cain killed his brother out of jealousy. I may not be killing those I am jealous of, but comparing myself to them and being envious of how ahead of me they seem to be is a sure fire recipe for failure. My energy is better spent working on my own craft, and not only learning from those that have been successful, but supporting and cheering them on too. Lord, please forgive me for the times that I give in to jealousy. Please help me to focus on my own journey, and dedicate it to you. The next time jealous feelings kick in, please help me to redirect those feelings to praise and genuine support, and please help me to learn from the amazing examples you expose me to. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
Just so it’s said, I do not affiliate myself with any known (or unknown?) organized religion. However, I will not be jumping that fast train to Atheism anytime soon, despite the fact that many of my favorite writers and comedians have. The idea appeals to me, especially because of my disdain for organized religions, but I just think making this leap would take a lot of joy out of my life.
Are you allowed to believe in magic as an atheist? It would seem that you would not. And a life without magic–why get up in the morning?
Further, if you can’t believe in magic, and everything must have a rational explanation, then you can’t appreciate beauty or joy either, since these are purely chemical reactions in the tripheesial membrane or something.
And if none of these things work why get upset, or enraged? No matter how humankind behaves or what “sins” it commits against the planet and every creature upon it, the atheist can still go to bed on time at night, without having to get up early any morning, because rage and anger are merely unproductive and inefficient states of being.
Etc., etc., usw..
Maybe I’m making a leap here I’m not allowed to make; I have not read the Atheist General By-laws (AGB) in, like, ever. But it seems to me atheists are ahteists because of a lack of proof in religious ideas and a faith (!) in science. My “leap” does not seem so death-defying under these terms.
As a Christian, I applaud the Atheist. It cannot be easy to identify as one. Little confused? You might be thinking that it is more difficult to identify as a Christian these days considering all the backlash against Christianity. Well, that is true to an extent, but as a Christian, I have Jesus Christ to lean on in good times, and in bad. I believe that Jesus is my savior and that he will always be there for me. But an atheist believes in nothing. Imagine going through this world without a proverbial safety net? Knowing they are living their lives for the sole purpose of living for only the time they have on this earth. Once their life is over, everything ends. When a Christian's life ends, Jesus is awaiting them.
I respect everyone's free will. We have the freedom to choose what we want to believe, and live the way we see fit. To the atheists out there, my question to you is, do you feel that your lives are missing something even though you may have a wonderful life with a beautiful family, good health, etc? Have you ever considered that Jesus may be real? If not, what harm would it be to learn about him, and see if your life changes for the better?
Thank you to everyone that has read this, and I look forward to a spirited, respectful debate.
Genesis 15:6 & 15:8 - My Reminder To Spend More Time With God (Bible Journal)
"And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith (Genesis 15:6 NLT)."
“O Sovereign Lord, how can I be sure that I will actually possess it (Genesis 15:8 NLT)?"
My takeaway from these two verses is that it is perfectly normal to believe the Lord's promises, but at the same time seek reassurance too. While I believe God's promise that my sins are covered thanks to the death and resurrection of Jesus, I still seek reassurance by continuing to explore and learn about my faith through the many resources God has provided me. I feel like I have been slacking lately as far as spending more time with God and the avenues He has given me to connect with Him (prayer, the Bible, church, learning from teachers He has called to teach, reading devotionals, even journaling more consistantly), and I appreciate God reminding me to get back on track through today's Scripture readings. Lord, thank You for the many ways You communicate to me, including this journal writing process. Thank You for finding ways to reach us since the early days of Genesis. Please help me to make a commitment to spending more time with You in this upcoming week. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.